Seeing rare orchids

Bulbophyllum hiansOne of the joys of traveling to orchid shows is that you get to see orchids in flower, grown by other people, and new to you. In spring there are of course many examples of Phalaenopsis to be seen, some common and some very nice indeed. And then, you get to see things you did not know existed. At the spring show of the Utah Orchid Society in Salt Lake City, there was a Bulbophyllum to be admired, that was listed as Bulbophyllum hians. This is a very rare orchid, seldom seen in the United States. The owner reports that the flowers open in the morning, close in the afternoon to re-open again the next morning. The plant presumably only wants early-day pollinators to visit! This plant is now being studied by the Species Identification Task Force of the American Orchid Society. They are a committee of experts who will research if the flower here shown really is of Bulbophyllum hians. You can read more about their work on many more interesting plants on their own blog. Over time this committee will confirm that this is indeed Bulbophyllum hians, or else hopefully tell us what its proper name is.

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